Benefits of language learning

According to an article I came across today, it is the process of learning a new language that encourages people to learn more languages, and becoming bilingual makes learning further languages easier.

The article talks about at study of native English speakers who were either monolingual, or bilingual in English and Spanish or English and Mandarin, and who were presented with words made up by the researchers. It found that the bilingual participants could learn the made up words much more easily than the monolingual ones, and the researchers think that the process of learning a foreign language improves your language learning skills.

Another study found that bilinguals are also better at learning words in their native language and generally have faster brain activity, especially older adults (60-68 years old) who have been bilingual from an early age. Apparently “these results suggest that lifelong bilingualism may exert its strongest benefits on the functioning of frontal brain regions in aging.”

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This entry was posted in Language, Language learning.

4 Responses to Benefits of language learning

  1. Rauli says:

    The opening words of the article were quite interesting to me:
    “If you’ve ever met anyone who is able to speak multiple languages, then you know it can sometimes make you feel a little dumb.”

    In Finland, it is very difficult to find a person who does NOT speak multiple languages, because in school we must learn Swedish and one other language, which for most people is English, sometimes e.g. French or German. Of course not everyone becomes fluent in them, but at least we all have studied them.

    The second sentence of the article says:
    “Also, many of us think people that speak more than one language must be over-achievers or just unusually curious, born with a huge desire to learn other cultures.”

    I am unusually curious, but I often wonder why people assume language learners are interested in another culture. I’m interested in the language, and the culture is something that just comes along with it. I’m not saying I’m not interested in it as well, but it just isn’t my main concern.

  2. BnB says:

    “the process of learning a foreign language improves your language learning skills”

    I thought this was a well-established concept? I’ve been hearing this since I was a kid decades ago. I certainly found that, having learned one foreign language, the others came more easily. At least for me, that was partly because you have to learn more about the structure of language, and that creates a framework in your mind upon which it’s easier to hang new languages as well. At least that’s my experience…

  3. Phil Jones says:

    ❝One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.❞
    ‒Frank Smith

    I am learning my 3rd language and it has open so many door for me. A cool site I found last month is http://lingohut.com/ I love the games. My favorite feature is talk-o-matic it allows you to record yourself and listen to your self speak you new language. The site is completely free, I did not even have to enter my email. Love it!!

  4. Marcelo says:

    I agree with your article, once your brain has the “software” for learning a language, it is much easier to learn other (languages). Thank you for sharing this